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Expand chart
Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 600,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The big picture: It's a higher death toll than the number of American soldiers killed in combat during the Vietnam War, World War I and World War II combined.

  • It's also greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee, and equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019, according to AP.
  • The number represents approximately 15% of the world's total coronavirus death toll, which stands at over 3.8 million.

The state of play: The latest grim milestone comes amid signs of optimism about the state of the pandemic in the U.S., where vaccines have helped drive down the seven-day average to about 14,000 new cases and less than 400 deaths per day.

  • Over 51% of Americans 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, and 61% have received at least one dose, according to CDC data.
  • It took nearly four months for the U.S. to go from 500,000 total deaths to 600,000, per JHU. By comparison, the country went from 400,000 to 500,000 deaths in a little over 30 days.

Yes, but: Vaccination rates have also slowed, even as the federal government and states have rolled out dozens of incentive programs to push 70% of American adults to be vaccinated by the Fourth of July.

What they're saying: "We have more work to do to beat this virus. And now is not the time to let our guard down," Biden said during a press conference at the NATO summit in Belgium, as he urged more people to get vaccinated "as soon as possible."

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2021 - Health

Israel reinstates COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

Elderly residents wait to receive their third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a medical center in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israel announced Tuesday it will tighten public health measures due to surging in COVID-19 case numbers.

Driving the news: The latest restrictions come as Israel saw nearly 4,000 new daily cases reported on Tuesday, the highest count so far since the country began experiencing an uptick last month, the AP reports.

21 hours ago - Health

America's pandemic pessimism returns

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

A majority of Americans now, once again, say the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, per new Harris polling provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: We took a brief hiatus from worrying about the pandemic, but the Delta variant and the response to it appear to have sent us back to a dark place.

Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

Greece's Maria Alzigkouzi Kominea and Evangelia Papazogloun the Artistic Swimming Duet Free Routine Preliminary of the Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Aug. 2, 2021 in Japan. Photo" Clive Rose/Getty Images

Greece's entire 12-woman artistic swimming team is out of the Tokyo Olympic Games due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among the group.

Driving the news: Tokyo Games organizers confirmed Wednesday that five members of the Greek team had tested positive for the virus and that their teammates were considered close contacts.